Investing in the future
If you have ever bought a house ‘with a lot of potential’, you will surely recognize this story. To make it all liveable again, you take out a mortgage with a home improvement account so that you can make the necessary investments. And from that home improvement account, you see yourself paying bills that are so high that it would normally keep you awake at night. However, the situation demands substantial investments, so that’s what you do. The choices you make are very determining for the future. The chance that you will pull out all the stops and start investing again in the next 10 years is pretty small.
Investments on a global scale
On a global scale, we are now in this situation. Everywhere governments are spending staggering sums of money to get the economy back on its feet post-COVID. Entire sectors are being kept afloat with government money to prevent our economy from falling into a deep recession. As it became clear in hindsight that the austerity measures taken after the 2008 financial crisis had actually slowed down the economic recovery, it is now important to keep our money rolling. Consequently, the CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis therefore also advised in the past week to stimulate the economy by means of an ‘expansionary budgetary policy’.
The perfect opportunity for sustainability
This is a perfect opportunity to achieve our sustainability objectives. By linking government support to requirements for greening, we are preparing ourselves for the future. And that’s an opportunity we probably won’t get for another decade. The support programme that will be set up in the coming period will continue to have an impact on our economic system throughout the decade. It would be a missed opportunity if we parked the biggest challenge of the future, i.e. climate change, because we need to stimulate the economy. Boosting the economy by making sustainable investments helps us now and in the future.
Investments in sustainability pay off
Back to the rebuilding analogy. We take the position that sustainable investments also pay off, especially when it comes to building. Research shows time and again that a better EPC reduces CO2 emissions and increases the value of real estate. Sustainable real estate also has a higher rental income and lower energy and service costs. Finally, in a sustainable building, the systems are better attuned to each other, which reduces complaints and improves the working climate.
The future starts now. So let’s roll our money in the right direction. The buildings and infrastructure we erect now will still be in use in 2050. If we want to shape the society of the future in a sustainable way, we have to do it now. We won’t get this opportunity again for another decade.
Written by Bert van Renselaar, CFP Green Buildings